Le Bon Marché

Le Bon Marché Steps Up Personalization in Revamped Jewelry Space

Le Bon Marché Steps Up Personalization in Revamped Jewelry Space

PARIS — Le Bon Marché has unveiled its revamped and expanded jewelry space after a yearlong renovation.
Located on the ground floor and catty-corner to major luxury brands, the 3,200-square-foot space is now home to some 17 brands, ranging from French staples such as Gas Bijoux to new signatures like Spanish brand Simuero.

Simuero will be the first brand to inaugurate the new jewelry department’s central pop-up space, which is set under a circular gazebo that nods to Eiffel Tower-style metallic structures. There the brand will present its recycled-silver jewels handcrafted in the Mediterranean port city of Valencia.

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“This space will serve as a platform to capitalize on the already-emotional facet of jewelry,” said Le Bon Marché’s fashion jewelry buyer Joanne El Choueiri, with personalization taking pride of place among the offerings in the space.

These will range from a charms bar with Aurélie Bidermann, to permanent jewelry by Atelier VM and Vanrycke, which will also offer engraving services. French label Medaï will be on hand to personalize gold-plated and silver medals, also available in gemstones or lab-grown diamond options.

According to El Choueiri, this larger space, up from its previous 2,150-square-foot incarnation, stemmed from a desire to create a large jewelry section that would become a point of attraction but also offer a tighter curation that would reflect consumers’ taste and habits, including digital native brands that will find there their first and sometimes sole physical retail outpost.

“We leaned toward less brands but make them partners with whom we develop exclusive designs and services,” she said. Keeping the selection affordable — in sync with the current 200-euro average basket, with prices that hover under 100 euros on average, peaking around 2,000 euros for fine jewelry — was equally important.

“And we are aiming not to gender the space, although there is a strong female-oriented component at present, we will be giving space for brands that resonate more and more with a male audience.”

Inside the new dedicated jewelry space at Paris’ Le Bon Marché.

To match the conversation-starter angle of these designs, the fashion jewelry department was redesigned “to give a more direct rapport with the jewels, with the materials, and creating a face-to-face with the client,” said the department store’s new projects development manager Thierry Doré.

Surrounding the center podium will be curving low chests of drawers, also continued along the walls set with glass cabinets. A table designed by French modernist designer Jacques Adnet, previously in the men’s department, was dressed with a new leather desk pad, while a midcentury cabinet was brought in and revamped to fit its new destination.

That embodies another key idea Le Bon Marché is already sold on: being more sustainable in the way it conceives its spaces and furnishes them, which had already guided the renovation of the sneaker department in 2021 and the bag section in 2022.

First, more than 50 percent of existing materials have been reused in the new space, including some 2,000 square feet of hardwood flooring and 60 percent of the lighting. Then new materials include wood from sustainably managed forests and a reconstituted stone that can be broken apart and remade into fresh material, explained in-house interior designer Clara Blanchouin, who worked on the jewelry department with colleague Kevin Reynaud.

But that also means imagining how to take everything apart once the 10-year average duration for a set-up has passed, added Doré. To that end, mechanically assembled parts that avoid the use of glues, modular elements that can be customized and natural pigments were used.

“The day this space is old, elements are easier to dissociate, reused in parts but also discarded in cleaner ways if necessary,” he said.

Le Bon Marché Turns 170 in a Burst of Orange

Le Bon Marché Turns 170 in a Burst of Orange

ORANGE YOU GLAD: Le Bon Marché is celebrating its 170th anniversary with a burst of color, unleashing its signature orange color throughout the store in playful pop-ups filled with exclusive limited-edition products.
Visitors entering the Paris department store are greeted by an orange Mini Moke electric car with black seats, although with a price tag of 29,900 euros, it can be customized in any color. Further along is a ping pong table by Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek that will set you back just over 15,000 euros, though customers have been enjoying the odd game on it for free.

Indeed, it seems the bright Pop Art-style sets, designed by street artists Toqué Frères, lifted spirits the moment the temporary space opened to the public on Saturday.

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“There was a great mood in the store. Customers were smiling and I think that everyone suddenly wanted to be around the color orange. That vitamin D connotation really gives everyone a lift,” Jennifer Cuvillier, style director at Le Bon Marché, said on a guided tour of the exhibition, which runs until Oct. 16.

Le Bon Marché’s 170th anniversary animation designed by Toqué Frères.

Courtesy of Le Bon Marché.

The retailer, owned by luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has extended the spirit of celebration throughout the store, with a banquet table featuring colorful tableware designs by brands including Caroline de Benoist, Popolo, Willemien Bardawil and Fragonard.   

“The scene here after the opening on Saturday was nuts,” said Cuvillier. “We even heard a man telling his wife, ‘Honey, we’re going to have to move apartments because we need a bigger table.’”

Brands including Acne Studios, Roger Vivier, Cartier, Chloé and Moynat have designed orange ready-to-wear, bags and shoes especially for the event.

Animations include a La Fabrique a Popcorn stand and a coffee bar run by Le Café Nuances; a second-floor games space featuring a maze and a tombola; a Kure Bazaar nail art bar, a Kevin Murphy hairstyling station, and a makeup bar featuring a rotation of brands including La Bouche Rouge, By Terry and Bobbi Brown.  

But the highlight no doubt will be the weekly immersive theater performance staged across the store on Friday and Saturday nights from Sept. 2 through Dec. 30. Some 30 actors will recreate the story of founders Aristide and Marguerite Boucicaut, which famously helped to inspire French author Émile Zola’s 19th century novel “Au Bonheur des Dames.”

Tickets for the two-hour performance can be booked on lebonmarche.com and partner ticketing platforms.  

A cake shaped like Le Bon Marché’s signature shopping bag available at the Paris department store’s Primo Piano restaurant.

Courtesy of Le Bon Marché.

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